HomeCricketWill Joe Root start converting his starts?

Will Joe Root start converting his starts?

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Timely dismissals in Test cricket are considered precious, especially when one can get a set batsman or more importantly the team’s best player. On the other hand, it is often a feeling of misery for the dismissed player. Ask Joe Root and his failure to convert starts. Only he can give an answer on the rush of blood that goes in the head.
After two days of rain pouring across Auckland, there was play on the fourth day of the first Test between New Zealand and England. A test match that could have well been over by now has stretched into the fifth day. Thanks to the rain and also some resistance shown by England.
The visitors ended the day at 132/3, trailing the Kiwis by 237 runs. New Zealand posted 427/8 after a brilliant unbeaten 145 by Henry Nicholls. Now with only a day’s play left, New Zealand need seven wickets to win by an innings as the task for England is to survive no matter what the difficulty is.
It was once again Trent Boult, who produced a piece of magic on the final ball of the day’s play. It somehow can open the gates for the hosts on a tricky day’s of play on Monday. Joe Root once again found himself in familiar territory as he had a long walk back to the pavilion.

Root’s final ball dismissal a tragedy

One issue that has once again bothered England time and time again is skipper Joe Root’s failure to convert starts into big scores. The 2017-18 Ashes gave us multiple glimpses, and now he found himself once again falling prey to a lapse of concentration.
The star batsman once again did all the hard work to build his innings, but in the end gifted his wicket while batting on 51. The England skipper is still in the hunt for a Test ton this summer and his 131-ball stay to frustrate the Kiwis was halted after a show of grit and character.
Boult offered pace and accuracy and Root could only fend the ball for BJ Wanting to complete a catch. It ruined England’s perfect session.

Thumb injury at the worst possible time?

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In the fourth ball of the final over, Boult delivered his ball with a lot of conviction making Root stay up on it to defend off a straight bat. The ball cut back in sharply and smashed into his bottom-hand thumb. Root was reeling in pain and the physio applied the magic spray which did not seem to work.
Root still feeling the pain needed to fend out the next two deliveries. But Boult seized the opportunity and his accuracy did the English skipper in. Oh! What a sight that was. Poor Root.

Joe Root’s failure to convert starts

Root’s conversion rate is in a new low. Its been eight Test matches since Root last got to a century. His 136 against the West Indies came back on August 17, 2017. Since then the player has eight half-centuries across eight Tests. A laudable effort from Root, but the failure to convert these fifties has often hurt his side.
In the 2017-18 Ashes, Root scored five half-centuries, but failed to get his side go on top from strong positions and that was where the trick was lost. His counterpart Steve Smith did the exact opposite after getting big scores and helping his side win the series 4-0.
If Root wants to get his side to winning games, he must score hundreds and that too big ones. One that has eluded him and robbed his impetus after putting in so much of work in settling down.
Root’s last eight Tests – 

  1. England vs West Indies – 59 and 72
  2. England vs West Indies – 1 and DNB
  3. Australia vs England – 15 and 51
  4. Australia vs England – 9 and 67
  5. Australia vs England – 20 and 14
  6. Australia vs England – 61 and DNB
  7. Australia vs England – 83 and 58
  8. New Zealand vs England – 0 and 51

Puts Joe Root behind in the ‘Fab Four’

Root has 13 centuries in Test cricket and is way behind Steve Smith and Virat Kohli in this regard. The duo have 23 and 21 tons respectively. Another player that is considered among these players in the Fab Four is Kane Williamson. He too has notched 18 tons to his name. Therefore it shows the issues Root is facing now despite having an average of 53.28.

 His conversion rate is poor as compared to the trio, who like Root are leading their respective teams in world cricket. In order to enjoy success in Tests away from home, Root needs big innings consistently by his side. They can, therefore, have a chance to build on from there.

May be it is time for Root to pick something from the trio’s hats and produce something extraordinary with his willow.

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